Benet Academy’s Sami Schilf and Kendall Kedziora from Naperville North both enter their senior seasons on the softball field and the final year with their fathers as head coach! Check out the latest feature story, presented by Edward Medical Group.
Naperville North softball player Kendall Kedziora and Benet Academy’s Sami Schilf have a lot in common outside of just the sport they play. Both girls play first base, and both are left handed. They have each been varsity team members since their freshman seasons and they are entering their senior seasons. But the most unique bond these athletes share, is that they both play for teams where their father is the head coach. To make the connection even more bizarre, their dad’s even share the same first name! Jerry Kedziora at Naperville North and Jerry Schilf at Benet Academy are the long time leaders of their respective programs and are both cherishing the opportunity to coach their daughters for the final time this spring.
Players Earn Their Spot
Being the child of the head coach can be a blessing and a curse, you have the institutional knowledge of the program and the sport itself and constant access to strategy and training. But there is always pressure to prove you belong on the roster because of your talent and work ethic and not just your relation to the person who fills out the lineup card. However both Kendall and Sami have proven themselves year after year by putting in the work all year round and producing on the field.
Shared Familial Bonds
Both Kendall and Sami have known each other for a while, having played against each other during club softball even before they entered high school. There is certainly an appreciation for this unique situation they find each other in, as do the two head coaches.
After missing out on a full season together when the 2020 season was canceled, the Kedziora’s and the Schilf’s are both appreciating every day they have remaining together on the diamond and hope to end on a high note.
Final Matchup on the Diamond
Naperville North will host Benet Academy on April 6th, the third time that Kendall and Sami have gone head to head during the high school season. Naperville North won each of the previous games in 2019 and 2021, but with both teams playing well to start the spring, it should be a very competitive matchup.
Reporting for Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Justin Cornwell.